Bakoon Japan HDA-5230, a portable amp
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audionewbi

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I came across this amp, which is still in not yet fully completed. Bakoon is a Korean company with two different branch. They two company while sharing the same name produce two different product, which follows the same SATRI design but somehow the two sound quiet different.
 
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http://blog.naver.com/PostView.nhn?blogId=2391478&logNo=220796567268&redirect=Dlog
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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jeffri

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This seems to be completed already, but why there is no much info I can find about this amp. The specs were quite interesting.
 
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audionewbi

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I've placed my order as I'm very happy where I'm source, IEM and headphone wise. I will report my finding as I go, but don't expect any reviews. I prefer to post my impression as they come.
 
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jeffri

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I've placed my order as I'm very happy where I'm source, IEM and headphone wise. I will report my finding as I go, but don't expect any reviews. I prefer to post my impression as they come.
Nice, let us know how it goes
 
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audionewbi

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I've had the HDA-5230 for a while now. I'm ashamed to say I've so many great gears in my collection and I don't get much time to put them to good use. And what sadness me the most is having arguably the second best thing I bought this year, after my R2R2000, and I haven't had time to play with it.

When it comes to sources, I know what I like now and I know if a source is to my liking or not rather quickly. HDA-5230 posses that quality when it comes to amp. However when it comes to amps it is much harder to explain what one wants as there are so many things to disect, does it colour the sound, does is hiss, is it suitable for IEM and headphone.

To my ears HDA-5230 does not colour beyond recognising the original recording. It is able to give recording a sense of air that is very pleasing. I don't know if this is an effect of a good amp circuit or the nature of tonality of the amp.
It is hiss free, the circuit current amp is able to know how to tailor for needy headphone and sensitive IEM. I have a lot of head-room when it comes to hard to drive headphone and with IEM, I can actually use the volume knob passed the two oclock region, meaning I can fine tune the volume to my heart desire without worrying about too much gain.
I know the physic behind current amplification is different, V=IR etc, but my next amp is to test all the planar headphones I can get and see which one matches this beast of a thing. Meze empyrean is on my mind.
 
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I would really love to know how Ether 2 works with this. It sounds really good with my friend bigger Bakoon, so if this could works as well... dang, I'm tempted.
 
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If this is anything like the Korean Bakoon HPA-21 desktop amp it will be very quiet, exceptionally detailed and it's signature will depend on the impedance plot of the headphone its's driving. It is an inherent function of its current mode operation. This means it should work really well with planars with their ruler flat impedance profile and perhaps not so well with cans that have large impedance swings over the frequency range (unless of course the change in response due to an impedance swing counteracts a deficiency in the headphones speaker response).

It should work great with the Meze Empyrean. My memory of the Empyrean is that it is a fine set of cans even on a conventional amp.

FWIW the HPA-21 works extremely well with my Final Audio Sonorous X's and only OK with my Utopias probably due to the large impedance peak in the Utopia centered at about 55hz. The Sonorous X's have a warm, very tonally dense, somewhat unconventional response with many amps but opens up beautifully on the Bakoon. This might therefore be a good option for portable use. Questyle is current mode as well, but apparently does a conversion to voltage operation at the output stage.

What is the second unit in the last three photos?
 
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